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bladerunner060
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1/12/2013 10:40:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So, the comments on
http://www.debate.org...

were long and multiple.

I thought, perhaps, to create a forum topic to discuss the subject, as there are multiple folks with multiple opinions.

I'll post a bit from my last comment, which was, in turn, a response to Apeiron. Just 'cause. But the point here is to discuss the "Moral Argument". And the Is-Ought "Problem".

"If we gradually invent morality rather than discover it, then it's subjective, not objective."
If we say that God created morals, then they are subjective (to god). Further, did we "discover" the laws of physics? Of logic? Or did we invent them? Most morality is predicated on premises, from which the morality of circumstances flows logically.

"And on a naturalistic paradigm, I see no reason for thinking that moral ought isn't self-derived, and therefore subjective."
And I see no reason for thinking, on a theistic paradigm, that moral ought isn't self-derived, and therefore subjective. In the first place, the criteria for judging god's definition of "ought" is subjective (hence the many religions), and in the second, shifting the burden of defining "ought" to god does not solve the reasoning behind "ought" any more than shifting the first cause to god solves the problem of first cause. Perhaps the subjective element is removed TO GOD, but it is not removed entirely.
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Apeiron
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1/12/2013 10:41:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/12/2013 10:40:44 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, the comments on
http://www.debate.org...

were long and multiple.

I thought, perhaps, to create a forum topic to discuss the subject, as there are multiple folks with multiple opinions.

I'll post a bit from my last comment, which was, in turn, a response to Apeiron. Just 'cause. But the point here is to discuss the "Moral Argument". And the Is-Ought "Problem".

"If we gradually invent morality rather than discover it, then it's subjective, not objective."
If we say that God created morals, then they are subjective (to god). Further, did we "discover" the laws of physics? Of logic? Or did we invent them? Most morality is predicated on premises, from which the morality of circumstances flows logically.

"And on a naturalistic paradigm, I see no reason for thinking that moral ought isn't self-derived, and therefore subjective."
And I see no reason for thinking, on a theistic paradigm, that moral ought isn't self-derived, and therefore subjective. In the first place, the criteria for judging god's definition of "ought" is subjective (hence the many religions), and in the second, shifting the burden of defining "ought" to god does not solve the reasoning behind "ought" any more than shifting the first cause to god solves the problem of first cause. Perhaps the subjective element is removed TO GOD, but it is not removed entirely.

Good man, I shall respond to this in a bit.
philochristos
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1/12/2013 10:59:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/12/2013 10:40:44 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
"If we gradually invent morality rather than discover it, then it's subjective, not objective."
If we say that God created morals, then they are subjective (to god).

I agree that morals are subjective to God. But if God is a legitimate authority, and if he imposes obligations on us, then those obligations are objective to us in the sense that they are not a product of our own thinking, and they are binding on us whether we believe them or not.

Further, did we "discover" the laws of physics? Of logic? Or did we invent them? Most morality is predicated on premises, from which the morality of circumstances flows logically.

I think there's a relevant parallel between the laws of physics and of logic on the one hand, and moral laws on the other. The major distinction between them is that the laws of physics and logic are descriptive whereas moral laws are prescriptive.

And I see no reason for thinking, on a theistic paradigm, that moral ought isn't self-derived, and therefore subjective. In the first place, the criteria for judging god's definition of "ought" is subjective (hence the many religions),

I could be wrong, but I think you may be equivocating on the word "subjective." There are two senses of the subjective/objective dichotomy. On the one hand, an objective claim is a claim about an object that is true or false depending on whether it corresponds to that object. For example, "My dog barks" is an objective claim.

And a subjective claim is a claim about the preferences or perspective of the subject making the claim. For example, "Barking is a sweet sound" is a subjective claim because whether it's sweet or not depends on whether I like the sound or not.

But objective/subjective is also used in a different sense. We say that somebody is being objective when they're evaluating something free from the influence of bias, and that they are being subjective when their judgment is clouded by bias.

It could be that our search for moral truth is a subjective enterprise since we must rely on our own subjective intuitions to arrive at them. But that doesn't mean morals themselves aren't objective in the sense of being true independently of our perceiving them.

The statement, "It's wrong to stab your mother or rape your father," may be true in the objective sense even if trying to work out whether it's true or not is a subjective enterprise.

and in the second, shifting the burden of defining "ought" to god does not solve the reasoning behind "ought" any more than shifting the first cause to god solves the problem of first cause.

If that is true, then it is not to say that God is not necessary for morality (or for a first cause), but that God is not sufficient for morality (or for a first cause). But if you don't think God is sufficient, what more is needed?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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1/12/2013 11:00:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/12/2013 10:59:11 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 1/12/2013 10:40:44 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Further, did we "discover" the laws of physics? Of logic? Or did we invent them? Most morality is predicated on premises, from which the morality of circumstances flows logically.

I think there's a relevant parallel between the laws of physics and of logic on the one hand, and moral laws on the other.

I meant to say I don't think there's a relevant parallel...
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
bladerunner060
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1/12/2013 11:28:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
@Philocristos:

Bear in mind...I'm a skosh tipsy by now. Cut me some slack on phrasing, please, and if something reads insulting, assume I didn't mean it as such but rather phrased it poorly.

Also, y'know what's awesome? Sangria, that's what.

..........

"I agree that morals are subjective to God. But if God is a legitimate authority, and if he imposes obligations on us, then those obligations are objective to us in the sense that they are not a product of our own thinking, and they are binding on us whether we believe them or not."

To clarify, then, God is an objective source of morality hinges, to you, on God being a legitimate authority? How do you determine he is that?

"I [don't] think there's a relevant parallel between the laws of physics and of logic on the one hand, and moral laws on the other. The major distinction between them is that the laws of physics and logic are descriptive whereas moral laws are prescriptive."

Oh, nonononono they are NOT. It's a common concept I've read before. But moral laws are 100% DESCRIPTIVE.

X is MORAL, Y is IMMORAL.

Once that is determined, taking Morality as something which describes what one OUGHT to do, the implication follows that they then prescribe action.

But initially they are only descriptive terms. If X conditions, then Y is MORAL.

But I think I understand your underlying point, that the laws of physics describe things we see; physics is a method of explaining consistent action.

But focus on Logic, instead, upon which I would say Morality is based: once you accept certain premises, the logic of the moral precepts follows naturally.

"I could be wrong, but I think you may be equivocating on the word "subjective."..." The statement, "It's wrong to stab your mother or rape your father," may be true in the objective sense even if trying to work out whether it's true or not is a subjective enterprise."

No. It is theists (no offense) who are equivocating. They say that morals become objective because God has determined them for us. That doesn't remove the subjectivity in question, it just moves it one level up. Either God has REASONS for assigning ought to a concept, or god does not. If he does not, then "ought" is arbitrary. If he DOES, then THOSE REASONS are from whence the ought comes, not from God himself.

"If that is true, then it is not to say that God is not necessary for morality (or for a first cause), but that God is not sufficient for morality (or for a first cause). But if you don't think God is sufficient, what more is needed?"

I'm not entirely sure I understand the question, in light of my responses. It almost sounds like an argument from ignorance. "You can't think of a better solution, therefore God". But I will tentatively answer: Reason.

I take the position that once the premises are established, morality can be deduced. Agreement on the premises (or disagreement, as the case may be) is the explanation for why we have many different moral systems in the world today. Por ejemplo: most moral/ethical systems take mens rea into account, some don't.
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Apeiron
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1/13/2013 1:13:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/12/2013 10:40:44 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, the comments on
http://www.debate.org...

were long and multiple.

I thought, perhaps, to create a forum topic to discuss the subject, as there are multiple folks with multiple opinions.

I'll post a bit from my last comment, which was, in turn, a response to Apeiron. Just 'cause. But the point here is to discuss the "Moral Argument". And the Is-Ought "Problem".

"If we gradually invent morality rather than discover it, then it's subjective, not objective."
If we say that God created morals, then they are subjective (to god). Further, did we "discover" the laws of physics? Of logic? Or did we invent them? Most morality is predicated on premises, from which the morality of circumstances flows logically.

"And on a naturalistic paradigm, I see no reason for thinking that moral ought isn't self-derived, and therefore subjective."
And I see no reason for thinking, on a theistic paradigm, that moral ought isn't self-derived, and therefore subjective. In the first place, the criteria for judging god's definition of "ought" is subjective (hence the many religions), and in the second, shifting the burden of defining "ought" to god does not solve the reasoning behind "ought" any more than shifting the first cause to god solves the problem of first cause. Perhaps the subjective element is removed TO GOD, but it is not removed entirely.

Blade,

Moral values would be subjective if they were based in a contingent being's attitudes, etc. But first I'm saying that moral values aren"t based in God's attitudes, rather they"re judged from God's very essence-- remove the essence & you remove God; remove an attitude and you still have God. Though God is a personhood in Christianity, it doesn't follow that a maximally great being [who's greatness is either possible or impossible and therefore exists necessarily if it exists] is best explained in a subjective sense if theism were true.

But if God"s essence (rather than His attitudes) is the foundation for moral values, why would these morals be objective? Theistic reflectance is required when we speak of "persons" as we know them. For although God is described as personal, a necessarily existing maximal moral agent isn"t influenced by culture, trend, parental upbringing, etc; like we are: i.e., contingent and less than maximal moral agents. Would anyone regard a metaphysically necessary all good agent as on a par with a subjective human?

Sure, call God a subject in the sense that He has qualia like all other minds. But this goes nowhere to show that the values of [less maximal contingent moral agents] cannot be objectively judged from a [maximally great, necessary moral agent]. One mustn"t confuse objective good as in God"s mind (like the awareness of moral good or attitudes) but rather objective good is of God"s mind, or of God.

This "of" is important to grasp"the preposition is used to indicate origin, or source: "a man of good family; the plays of Shakespeare," the breath of me, the maximal moral good of God. Since maximal greatness is, by definition, possible or impossible, & thus necessary if it exists, then any moral good of God is maximally great & so too exists necessarily & hence objectively. If such moral good is maximal, then it"s a standard from which all other morals are judged whence lesser morals arise from other less than maximal moral agents.

For example, fairness isn"t itself fair; it needs personhood. But if such a personhood is less than maximally great, then the fairness of such an entity would be less than maximally fair, or subjective. But if God were fair, he would be maximally fair, the highest fair possible, & so the standard by which all other fairness is judged. If I"m only fair to some people but not all, while God is maximally fair, then I"m less fair than maximally fair: here we have an objective value standard. So the objection that "any moral theory which grounds morality in the nature of a subject is subjective" isn"t true. For although God may have qualia, it doesn"t follow that his necessarily existing essence isn"t itself an objective moral standard. One therefore cannot equivocate "subject" with a "necessarily existing standard" such as God, the moral standard.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
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1/13/2013 1:33:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The Fool: FALLACY they are all Logical. For a LAW must be a LAW. You can even make sense of what Law is. You are confusing logical language(symoblic logic) with the Logic It self.

Some people can be much more logical AKA Rational, and know nothing about what Logic mean. The Logic itself is a Priori, We try our best to create a logical language which represents Universal order. But that language could fail to represent it, but a thing cannot fail to be itself.

All language is descriptive you can't prescribe what you can't describe.
Q.E.D
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
bladerunner060
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1/13/2013 10:23:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Blade,

"first I'm saying that moral values aren"t based in God's attitudes, rather they"re judged from God's very essence--"
Explain how "Murder is wrong" is judged from the essence of God? Get into a concrete example of how this occurs, because your other arguments are so abstract as to be, to me, invalid, but perhaps it would clarify if you could show how a moral value is derived from "the essence of god".

"remove the essence & you remove God;"
How? Claiming that removing or changing a single aspect removes god seems quite a stretch, particularly for a god you have yet to establish.

"it doesn't follow that a maximally great being [who's greatness is either possible or impossible and therefore exists necessarily if it exists] is best explained in a subjective sense if theism were true."
This is a jumble of nonsense; it's the Ontological Argument. You can't possibly take that argument seriously. The possibility of existence does not prove existence, any more than the possibility of non-existence proves non-existence.

Further, moral laws require moral agency. If God has no "person", then god can have no moral agency. There's nothing immoral about a rock falling due to gravity, nor does that rock's falling make any statements about the justice in general of rocks falling.

"Would anyone regard a metaphysically necessary all good agent as on a par with a subjective human?"
I still do not concede "metaphysically necessary" or "all good". Further, it doesn't address the problem: Either he bases his decisions on what is moral on his own reason, or he bases it on nothing.

"Sure, call God a subject in the sense that He has qualia like all other minds. But this goes nowhere to show that the values of [less maximal contingent moral agents] cannot be objectively judged from a [maximally great, necessary moral agent]. One mustn"t confuse objective good as in God"s mind (like the awareness of moral good or attitudes) but rather objective good is of God"s mind, or of God."
Okay, estalish that. If it is "Of God", but not "In god's mind", that changes nothing. How do we know he's maximally good, and not just arbitrarily good?

"Since maximal greatness is, by definition, possible or impossible, & thus necessary if it exists, then any moral good of God is maximally great & so too exists necessarily & hence objectively. If such moral good is maximal, then it"s a standard from which all other morals are judged whence lesser morals arise from other less than maximal moral agents."

You haven't established why maximal greatness FIRST would be necessary if it existed, and SECOND why it would require "maximal goodness". After all, goodness would be a meaningless concept without God (to you), so why would there be any requirement that God be "Good", an abstract concept with no relevance? We return to the concept that, if god and his nature are what define good and NOTHING ELSE, god could, tomorrow, tell us that killing babies via bludgeoning was the moral thing to do.

"For example, fairness isn"t itself fair; it needs personhood. But if such a personhood is less than maximally great, then the fairness of such an entity would be less than maximally fair, or subjective. But if God were fair, he would be maximally fair, the highest fair possible, & so the standard by which all other fairness is judged. If I"m only fair to some people but not all, while God is maximally fair, then I"m less fair than maximally fair: here we have an objective value standard."

Again, though, if "Fair" is meaningless without god, then "Maximally fair" is meaningless without God; if he wholly defines fair, tomorrow stealing could be "fair".

"For although God may have qualia, it doesn"t follow that his necessarily existing essence isn"t itself an objective moral standard."

His necessarily existing essence is something that you've made up, that, due to the way you made it up, makes the terms you're talking about meaningless. Good means nothing if it's determined solely by the "nature" of god, because your "maximal" arguments require a standard outside the thing itself. Maximal powerful requires a definition of power.
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Apeiron
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1/13/2013 10:41:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/13/2013 10:23:11 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
Blade,

"first I'm saying that moral values aren"t based in God's attitudes, rather they"re judged from God's very essence--"
Explain how "Murder is wrong" is judged from the essence of God? Get into a concrete example of how this occurs, because your other arguments are so abstract as to be, to me, invalid, but perhaps it would clarify if you could show how a moral value is derived from "the essence of god".

Right, objective value judgements are always judged against an objective standard. In God's case, since if he is just, then he is maximally just, then we have a maximally great Justice on our hands here as a standard for that particular moral value. It is therefore rooted in a necessarily existing maximally great reality, which is itself personal, and therefore the best plausible and least arbitrary candidate for grounding objective moral truths in.

Morals are by nature abstract. It's like saying, "tell me about God in 200 words or less and give 3 examples." lol, nevertheless, I think this foundation is secured as quite a coherent foundation. Atheists like Nietzsche, Sartre, and Russell all agreed. So it's not like this is some new invention.

Now I don't want to be the only one on the defense all the time, you carry a BoP here too to explain morals from a non-theistic frame. So? How do you explain morals?

"remove the essence & you remove God;"
How? Claiming that removing or changing a single aspect removes god seems quite a stretch, particularly for a god you have yet to establish.

Establish? We haven't debated yet so hold that thought there bud lol. Now look up what "essence" means, it's something that's essential to something. Remove the essence or nature of something and it no longer carries it's identity, it's something else altogether, and probably non-existent. I'm not talking about physical things like color here, I mean the actual 'stuff' that's essential to a thing.

Now you call it aspect, that's not essence. God's essence is Good by definition because it's greater to BE the Good rather than merely exemplify what's somehow good (if that were to make sense... moral values rooted in itself? -- how is justice by itself just within the absence of persons?). So if we're talking about God, we're not talking about an evil God, that's a contradiction in terms. It's just simply NOT what we mean by 'God.' Perhaps god, but I'm not proving god. In fact I don't think god exists. I think God exists though.


"it doesn't follow that a maximally great being [who's greatness is either possible or impossible and therefore exists necessarily if it exists] is best explained in a subjective sense if theism were true."

This is a jumble of nonsense; it's the Ontological Argument. You can't possibly take that argument seriously. The possibility of existence does not prove existence, any more than the possibility of non-existence proves non-existence.

It's perfectly coherent actually, you'll have to reread it again and understand it if you think it's non-sense: "I don't understand it" =/= "Incoherent" We can understand that a effects precede their cause is an incoherent notion while understanding what we're talking about.

Further, moral laws require moral agency. If God has no "person", then god can have no moral agency. There's nothing immoral about a rock falling due to gravity, nor does that rock's falling make any statements about the justice in general of rocks falling.


Here's a bomb to play with, what to you think the Trinity is? ... Word on the street is, three's a crowd :-) esp when they all love one another from eternity past... to prove this though we'll have to see first what Christ claimed and his self-understanding, THEN evaluate the resurrection hypothesis that vindicates all his explicit and implicit claims as veridical. (Meaning with Christ, humanity perks their ears up if he was miraculously raised from the dead.)

"Would anyone regard a metaphysically necessary all good agent as on a par with a subjective human?"
I still do not concede "metaphysically necessary" or "all good". Further, it doesn't address the problem: Either he bases his decisions on what is moral on his own reason, or he bases it on nothing.

Of course you don't haha, I'm not that phased by it though I've heard no good arguments against it yet. But I already said, the modified EU dilemma is a bifurcation given that God is by definition a maximally great being and it's greater to BE the moral standard rather than just exemplify it.


"Sure, call God a subject in the sense that He has qualia like all other minds. But this goes nowhere to show that the values of [less maximal contingent moral agents] cannot be objectively judged from a [maximally great, necessary moral agent]. One mustn"t confuse objective good as in God"s mind (like the awareness of moral good or attitudes) but rather objective good is of God"s mind, or of God."
Okay, estalish that. If it is "Of God", but not "In god's mind", that changes nothing. How do we know he's maximally good, and not just arbitrarily good?

Because it's greater to be the Good rather than just exemplify it, and God is by definition a maximally great being. But you ask how we know of God (epistemology), that differs from the question of what is actually the case with God (ontology).


"Since maximal greatness is, by definition, possible or impossible, & thus necessary if it exists, then any moral good of God is maximally great & so too exists necessarily & hence objectively. If such moral good is maximal, then it"s a standard from which all other morals are judged whence lesser morals arise from other less than maximal moral agents."

You haven't established why maximal greatness FIRST would be necessary if it existed, and SECOND why it would require "maximal goodness". After all, goodness would be a meaningless concept without God (to you), so why would there be any requirement that God be "Good", an abstract concept with no relevance? We return to the concept that, if god and his nature are what define good and NOTHING ELSE, god could, tomorrow, tell us that killing babies via bludgeoning was the moral thing to do.

"For example, fairness isn"t itself fair; it needs personhood. But if such a personhood is less than maximally great, then the fairness of such an entity would be less than maximally fair, or subjective. But if God were fair, he would be maximally fair, the highest fair possible, & so the standard by which all other fairness is judged. If I"m only fair to some people but not all, while God is maximally fair, then I"m less fair than maximally fair: here we have an objective value standard."

Again, though, if "Fair" is meaningless without god, then "Maximally fair" is meaningless without God; if he wholly defines fair, tomorrow stealing could be "fair".


"For although God may have qualia, it doesn"t follow that his necessarily existing essence isn"t itself an objective moral standard."

His necessarily existing essence is something that you've made up, that, due to the way you made it up, makes the terms you're talking about meaningless. Good means nothing if it's determined solely by the "nature" of god, because your "maximal" arguments require a standard outside the thing itself. Maximal powerful requires a definition of power.

I'm running out of space and I remain on the defense side when i think I've carried it well, my question to you is how is maximal excellence NOT exemplified in every possible world if it's exemplified in some?
bladerunner060
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1/13/2013 11:17:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Sorry about the unquoting. I keep dorking up my formatting on here. I'll try to be better; I guess I've grown too used to being able to use standard tags, that using forum buttons to format is a skill that's become rusty, and I've just been copy/pasting from a textfile.

Haven't actually read the real response yet; wanted to apologize first.
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bladerunner060
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1/14/2013 12:11:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Hopefully I've done this right...(If so, I'm going to feel dumb that all it takes is colons to get the quoting right...and does that work within the debates as well?)

Right, objective value judgements are always judged against an objective standard. In God's case, since if he is just, then he is maximally just, then we have a maximally great Justice on our hands here as a standard for that particular moral value. It is therefore rooted in a necessarily existing maximally great reality, which is itself personal, and therefore the best plausible and least arbitrary candidate for grounding objective moral truths in.

How do we know he is just AT ALL, though, if we have no standard besides god to judge "just"? If there is NO other standard to use, then there is NO standard to use. It's just as recursive as ANY system.

Now I don't want to be the only one on the defense all the time, you carry a BoP here too to explain morals from a non-theistic frame. So? How do you explain morals?

I would say that you have to have a premise, such as "rights", or "utilitarianism". From those basic concepts (and sometimes from a combination of them), you build the axioms on which you can build a framework. It's like using Euclidean vs. Non-Euclidean geometry.

Does that allow one person to have a framework which makes something moral which is immoral in another framework? YES. But that's not different from the different religions of the world's opinions, either.

Establish? We haven't debated yet so hold that thought there bud lol. Now look up what "essence" means, it's something that's essential to something. Remove the essence or nature of something and it no longer carries it's identity, it's something else altogether, and probably non-existent. I'm not talking about physical things like color here, I mean the actual 'stuff' that's essential to a thing.

I guess I did conflate essence with attribute.

But what makes these things the "essence" of God? Maximal power, sure, I'll concede that God cannot be God without some form of maximal power. But upon what do you base the idea that God has any obligations re: morals?

Now you call it aspect, that's not essence. God's essence is Good by definition because it's greater to BE the Good rather than merely exemplify what's somehow good.

I would argue that's a logically incoherent statement. If God exists, then he is a thing which exists, and therefore cannot BE an abstract concept.

(if that were to make sense... moral values rooted in itself? -- how is justice by itself just within the absence of persons?)

How is justice just is like asking how yellow is yellow.

So if we're talking about God, we're not talking about an evil God, that's a contradiction in terms. It's just simply NOT what we mean by 'God.'

It's not what YOU mean by God. But I wonder why a concept that, to you, has no meaning outside of God can possibly be said to be a required element, or essence, of God.

Power has its own definition. God doesn't define power. He is the example of the maximal power.

"it doesn't follow that a maximally great being [who's greatness is either possible or impossible and therefore exists necessarily if it exists] is best explained in a subjective sense if theism were true."

It's perfectly coherent actually, you'll have to reread it again and understand it if you think it's non-sense: "I don't understand it" =/= "Incoherent" We can understand that a effects precede their cause is an incoherent notion while understanding what we're talking about.

I don't see the "therefore exists necessarily if it exists". It seems to say, if it exists it MUST exist.

Here's a bomb to play with...

It's a bit off-topic. I was just addressing the possible argument that God might have no moral agency of his own.

I still do not concede "metaphysically necessary" or "all good". Further, it doesn't address the problem: Either he bases his decisions on what is moral on his own reason, or he bases it on nothing.

Of course you don't haha, I'm not that phased by it though I've heard no good arguments against it yet. But I already said, the modified EU dilemma is a bifurcation given that God is by definition a maximally great being and it's greater to BE the moral standard rather than just exemplify it.

But the EU dilemma brings up the possibility that god is not maximally good, at all. That there is an absence of maximal goodness.

Because it's greater to be the Good rather than just exemplify it...

That's not the question I asked. I asked how you can determine god is maximally good and not just arbitrarily good.

"Since maximal greatness is, by definition, possible or impossible, & thus necessary if it exists,"

I'll reiterate my question on that statement.

then any moral good of God is maximally great...

And how do we know god is moral? According to you, morals do not exist apart from god...so how are they established to be part of god?

I'm running out of space and I remain on the defense side when i think I've carried it well, my question to you is how is maximal excellence NOT exemplified in every possible world if it's exemplified in some?

The first response to that would be: How do we know it's exemplified in some?

The second would be: You've defined maximal as maximal possible; can you assert and defend that it is possible for a maximally great being to be so great that it exists everywhere?

Test of created text. (sorry, but I'm trying to make sure I am understanding how it works).
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bladerunner060
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1/14/2013 12:12:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
And I totally meant to delete that "Test" in the "review" section. Whoops. But on the plus side, I should be able to format in a slightly less ugly manner now, so yay!
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Apeiron
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1/14/2013 3:48:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 12:11:23 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

Now I don't want to be the only one on the defense all the time, you carry a BoP here too to explain morals from a non-theistic frame. So? How do you explain morals?

I would say that you have to have a premise, such as "rights", or "utilitarianism". From those basic concepts (and sometimes from a combination of them), you build the axioms on which you can build a framework. It's like using Euclidean vs. Non-Euclidean geometry.

Yeah it's those rights that I think we DO have that need explaining if you're to have a more plausible and least arbitrary ontology. And recall that the question here is what ontological foundation do you have for affirming objective rights and so forth?

I've no doubt we can build a set of axioms of which to adhere, that deals with moral epistemology, not ontology. For why think those axioms are an objective basis for rights?

Does that allow one person to have a framework which makes something moral which is immoral in another framework? YES. But that's not different from the different religions of the world's opinions, either.

I'm not talking about the ethics of religions, I'm talking about the foundation of objective and binding morals that we can gradually discover rather than invent. What is the basis for those necessarily existing morals on your view?

Establish? We haven't debated yet so hold that thought there bud lol. Now look up what "essence" means, it's something that's essential to something. Remove the essence or nature of something and it no longer carries it's identity, it's something else altogether, and probably non-existent. I'm not talking about physical things like color here, I mean the actual 'stuff' that's essential to a thing.

I guess I did conflate essence with attribute.

But what makes these things the "essence" of God? Maximal power, sure, I'll concede that God cannot be God without some form of maximal power. But upon what do you base the idea that God has any obligations re: morals?

I'm not talking about power, I'm talking about greatness or excellence. If maximal greatness is possible, then it follows that it's possible in every possible world, including the actual world, that's just what it means to be maximally excellent.

Now we can come to discover rather than invent what goes to make up great making properties, I think that's just obvious. Why? Because it's apparant to us that it's greater to be good than evil. Therefore if God is good, then he is maximally good.

Now I don't base God's goodness in any obligation that he fullfills, note what I said in another post that God's worthy to be praised for his axiological perfection, not for any duty he fulfills. It's greater to be all good rather than not. This simply just cashes out from the definition of God so that once you grasp the very concept of God, you'll not only see that he can't NOT exist, but also that asking why he's good is sort of like asking the number 5 why it's not 6?

Now you call it aspect, that's not essence. God's essence is Good by definition because it's greater to BE the Good rather than merely exemplify what's somehow good.

I would argue that's a logically incoherent statement. If God exists, then he is a thing which exists, and therefore cannot BE an abstract concept.

I'm not arguing that God is an abstract concept or that morals are, I'm saying that if God is good, then he is maximally good by nature. God IS maximally just if he is just. Abstract concepts don't exist platonically, rather they always find their being (if they have being) in some Being. And necessarily true morals are clearly grounded in a necessarily existing Agent, in this case (the only case), a maximally great being.

(if that were to make sense... moral values rooted in itself? -- how is justice by itself just within the absence of persons?)

How is justice just is like asking how yellow is yellow.

Not really actually, yellow isn't a necessary property, it could be the case in some possible world wherein light doesn't hit that wave-length and no creatures are around to be appeared to in a yellow-like way.

Whereas if justice is an objective good, then it exists in every possible world as good. But then we're wondering how can the concept "justice" by itself, Platonically, be itself just towards anything if in the absernce of personhood? ... it doesn't seem like it can.


So if we're talking about God, we're not talking about an evil God, that's a contradiction in terms. It's just simply NOT what we mean by 'God.'

It's not what YOU mean by God. But I wonder why a concept that, to you, has no meaning outside of God can possibly be said to be a required element, or essence, of God.

No actually it's what most folks mean by God, see most of the debates on here when they define God all of those definitions have something like what I'm talking about, an all-knowing, all good, powerful being who created the world, etc.

Being 'good' can have meaning outside of God, but it would be subjective, that is, without a standard. And I've already given reasons why an objective Good would be the essence of God, for since God is by definition the maximally great being, and since it's greater to be the standard of good, then it follows logically and necessarily that objective moral values find their meaning in God first and foremost, and then such values are exemplified by humans sometimes... but it's still nevertheless legit for humans to ask where such values that we exemplify come from?

... On your view, I still see no such standard. We're in the dark, "morals (like the universe) just exists, and that's all." ... but that's purely inadequate. Many necessary truths can have further explanation. For example, 2 + 3 = 5 is necessarily because the Peano axioms are necessarily true. Necessarily, "No event precedes itself" because "Temporal Becoming is an objective feature of reality.

So since necessary truths can"t stand in relations of explanatory priority to one another, it's at best implausible that "objective morals just exist, and that's all."

Power has its own definition. God doesn't define power. He is the example of the maximal power.

I think you're equivocating "greatness" with "power" here again... I leave "power" as an open question since I don't think "all power" really makes much sense yet outside of having the ability to actualize any state of affairs that isn't described by the counterfactuals of the free acts of others and that is broadly logically possible for someone to actualize, given the same hard past and the same true counterfactuals about the free acts of others.
Apeiron
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1/14/2013 5:06:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 12:11:23 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

It's perfectly coherent actually, you'll have to reread it again and understand it if you think it's non-sense: "I don't understand it" =/= "Incoherent" We can understand that a effects precede their cause is an incoherent notion while understanding what we're talking about.


I don't see the "therefore exists necessarily if it exists". It seems to say, if it exists it MUST exist.

Refer back to the argument AnthraSight used in his last debate. He used possible world semantics to help make this understandable. So if it's possible that maximal excellence is true, then it follows logically that it exists in all possible worlds (given what maximal excellece is). This is why this argument is so brainy, because it really causes you to think just what maximal excellece is. Hence the very concept of God proves his existence, for once you grasp the concept of him, then you can see that he can't NOT exist.


Here's a bomb to play with...

It's a bit off-topic. I was just addressing the possible argument that God might have no moral agency of his own.

Well then that just doesn't make sense. To think that agency doesn't have objective morals.. is, well.. bonkers lol

I still do not concede "metaphysically necessary" or "all good". Further, it doesn't address the problem: Either he bases his decisions on what is moral on his own reason, or he bases it on nothing.

Of course you don't haha, I'm not that phased by it though I've heard no good arguments against it yet. But I already said, the modified EU dilemma is a bifurcation given that God is by definition a maximally great being and it's greater to BE the moral standard rather than just exemplify it.

But the EU dilemma brings up the possibility that god is not maximally good, at all. That there is an absence of maximal goodness.

Yes you're right, I though you were going there though.

Because it's greater to be the Good rather than just exemplify it...

That's not the question I asked. I asked how you can determine god is maximally good and not just arbitrarily good.

because if he is good, then by virtue of his maximal excellece, then he is maximally good. It's greater to be maximally good rather than not. And God is by definition the maximally great reality. This is all perfectly coherent.

"Since maximal greatness is, by definition, possible or impossible, & thus necessary if it exists,"

I'll reiterate my question on that statement.

I don't think I can get more basic than what I've said already. It's on you to understand and grasp what maximal excellence is. To have the property of maximal greatness a being would have to be the greatest in all possible worlds, including the actual one.

If God exists than God's existence cannot be a contingent fact. To question this would be like questioning wheather tables are things to put things on. That is what God is, necessary being, and if God is not acutally necessary than he is impossible but cannot be merely possible. God is not like other beings who may or may not exist. If my Parents had met different people and been married to them rather than each other I would not be me, but they might or might not have had any children at all.This might have happened, therefore, I might or might not have come to be. My existence is contingent. But God is not like this, he either must exist or ealse it is impossible that he could exist, but there is no "might or might not" in the question.


then any moral good of God is maximally great...

And how do we know god is moral? According to you, morals do not exist apart from god...so how are they established to be part of god?

Because it's greater to be all good than not, by definition God is a being worthy of worship. What you're asking is equivalent to asking, "why does the number five possess its fiveness?" ... it's a tautology.

I'm running out of space and I remain on the defense side when i think I've carried it well, my question to you is how is maximal excellence NOT exemplified in every possible world if it's exemplified in some?

The first response to that would be: How do we know it's exemplified in some?

Because it's possible. See "possible world semantics."

The second would be: You've defined maximal as maximal possible; can you assert and defend that it is possible for a maximally great being to be so great that it exists everywhere?

That simply cashes out from the definition of maximal greatness.
bladerunner060
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1/14/2013 5:12:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yeah it's those rights that I think we DO have that need explaining if you're to have a more plausible and least arbitrary ontology. And recall that the question here is what ontological foundation do you have for affirming objective rights and so forth?

I've no doubt we can build a set of axioms of which to adhere, that deals with moral epistemology, not ontology. For why think those axioms are an objective basis for rights?
Why think ANY axioms are an objective basis for rights? You still haven't established why God would be one, which then could mean that there IS no objective basis. If you keep going far enough, you will ultimately hit something arbitrary, and putting "god" in there as though it somehow solves the problem is the same type of reasoning that puts "god" in as First cause; it doesn't actually solve the problem it purports to solve.
I'm not talking about the ethics of religions, I'm talking about the foundation of objective and binding morals that we can gradually discover rather than invent. What is the basis for those necessarily existing morals on your view?
I would argue that such "morals" do not exist in the way you mean them.
I'm not talking about power, I'm talking about greatness or excellence. If maximal greatness is possible, then it follows that it's possible in every possible world, including the actual world, that's just what it means to be maximally excellent."
No, it isn't. You've already cut "maximal" down by saying that it cannot do what is logically inconsistent. Since we can make no real judgments about "every possible world", we cannot possibly say that it is logically valid that if it's possible in one world, it's possible in all possible worlds.
Now we can come to discover rather than invent what goes to make up great making properties, I think that's just obvious. Why? Because it's apparant to us that it's greater to be good than evil. Therefore if God is good, then he is maximally good.
That's a fairly...arbitrary decision. Upon what do you base that it is greater to be good than evil?
I'm not arguing that God is an abstract concept or that morals are,
I would say that morals ARE an abstract concept. All adjectives are; and good and evil are adjectives. They rely on their subject, and a common definition. A man running "fast", or a man whose actions are "good".
Not really actually, yellow isn't a necessary property, it could be the case in some possible world wherein light doesn't hit that wave-length and no creatures are around to be appeared to in a yellow-like way.
Whereas if justice is an objective good, then it exists in every possible world as good. But then we're wondering how can the concept "justice" by itself, Platonically, be itself just towards anything if in the absernce of personhood? ... it doesn't seem like it can.
Yellow would still exist in that world. The frequency of light might or might not exist, but the concept of yellow, or a frequency of light that is 525-505Hz, with a wavelength of 570-590, would still exist.
Justice requires the existence of moral agency, as it's a description of moral actors interacting with each other, as much as the existence of yellow requires the existence of light. A world with no moral agents has no "good". Inanimate objects have no moral value. Asking whether it's "just" for a rock to fall according to gravity is a meaningless question, asked in our world of moral agents or a world without them. Asking whether, if that rock had sentience, would it be wrong of it to choose to fall on someone's head is just as valid in a world without moral agents as it is in our world of moral agents.
Being 'good' can have meaning outside of God, but it would be subjective, that is, without a standard.
You're measuring a yardstick against itself and claiming that, because the yardstick says its 3 feet, it must be. For all you know, there's a break in the middle hidden by the hand holding it; as long as you use it as the sole determinant of whether it is 3 feet, you'll come to the conclusion it is, but you can't really say that it is.
And I've already given reasons why an objective Good would be the essence of God, for since God is by definition the maximally great being, and since it's greater to be the standard of good, then it follows logically and necessarily that objective moral values find their meaning in God first and foremost, and then such values are exemplified by humans sometimes... but it's still nevertheless legit for humans to ask where such values that we exemplify come from?
You haven't given any reason why we can establish that an objective good would be the essence of god. And I've already said I find it a logically incoherent for a moral ACTOR to BE "the good".
Necessarily, "No event precedes itself""because""Temporal Becoming is an objective feature of reality.
So since necessary truths can"t stand in relations of explanatory priority to one another, it's at best implausible that "objective morals just exist, and that's all."
Colors are arbitrarily designated by how our light receives them. However, we use frequencies and wavelengths to define them, and so it can be said that "objective colors just exist, and that's all", because we've defined them that way. Morals can be said to be the same thing: because moral actors interact in certain ways, and because we define it a certain way, it "just exists".
Because of the way we experience time, we have certain ideas about what is moral. Do not murder, for example. But if someone DIDN'T experience time in the same way, their view on morality might be different. They might bludgeon baby Hitler to death, based on the certain knowledge of what would happen if they DON'T. So, depending on basice premises, morals CAN change.
I think you're equivocating "greatness" with "power" here again.
Perhaps. But maximal power is an attribute of your god, and power is defined without reference necessary to your god. Yet you claim "good" necessarily requires your god as a reference.
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Lordknukle
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1/14/2013 6:58:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Everything falls prey to the is/ought problem. Even if there is a god and he has some morality that he believes all humans should follow, it doesn't mean that we ought to follow it.
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MouthWash
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1/14/2013 7:01:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 6:58:31 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Everything falls prey to the is/ought problem. Even if there is a god and he has some morality that he believes all humans should follow, it doesn't mean that we ought to follow it.

If there's one thing stupider than objective morality, it's subjective morality. Take your pseudo-philosophy somewhere else, please.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
Lordknukle
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1/14/2013 7:02:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 7:01:14 PM, MouthWash wrote:
At 1/14/2013 6:58:31 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
Everything falls prey to the is/ought problem. Even if there is a god and he has some morality that he believes all humans should follow, it doesn't mean that we ought to follow it.

If there's one thing stupider than objective morality, it's subjective morality. Take your pseudo-philosophy somewhere else, please.

All your little replies are so cute. And yet, you've never actually provided a single reason as for your reasoning. Oh well... what can you expect?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Apeiron
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1/14/2013 7:15:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 5:12:36 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

Yeah it's those rights that I think we DO have that need explaining if you're to have a more plausible and least arbitrary ontology. And recall that the question here is what ontological foundation do you have for affirming objective rights and so forth?

I've no doubt we can build a set of axioms of which to adhere, that deals with moral epistemology, not ontology. For why think those axioms are an objective basis for rights?

Why think ANY axioms are an objective basis for rights? You still haven't established why God would be one, which then could mean that there IS no objective basis. If you keep going far enough, you will ultimately hit something arbitrary, and putting "god" in there as though it somehow solves the problem is the same type of reasoning that puts "god" in as First cause; it doesn't actually solve the problem it purports to solve.

God wouldn't just be an axiom if he existed, rather if he existed, he would be the standard of morals since it's greater to be the standard of morals than not... it'ts quite simple actually. I'm unsure of what you're expecting an "establishment" of this to look like... how about telling me why you don't think that this is a tenable position?

And how is God as the sufficient cause of the universe, if true, not solving the supposed problem of a first cause?

It seems as if you're expecting more as a proof, but there's many things in life we don't know with 100% certainty, like the external world for example.

I'm not talking about the ethics of religions, I'm talking about the foundation of objective and binding morals that we can gradually discover rather than invent. What is the basis for those necessarily existing morals on your view?

I would argue that such "morals" do not exist in the way you mean them.

So you think morals are subjective?

I'm not talking about power, I'm talking about greatness or excellence. If maximal greatness is possible, then it follows that it's possible in every possible world, including the actual world, that's just what it means to be maximally excellent."

No, it isn't. You've already cut "maximal" down by saying that it cannot do what is logically inconsistent. Since we can make no real judgments about "every possible world", we cannot possibly say that it is logically valid that if it's possible in one world, it's possible in all possible worlds.

Haha denying that God can't do what's impossible isn't "cutting maximal greatness down." lol, it's not like the laws of logic are the same as the laws of physics, wherein God is somehow constrained by some force or whatever. No, it just means that to ask God to do the impossible is equivalent to asking a meaningless question. It's like telling God to make a harp-sharden round go 4.. oh, you can't do it God? .. mustn't be that great now are you? ... see how retarded that sounds blade? c'mon philosorapter, you're killing me here.

Now we can come to discover rather than invent what goes to make up great making properties, I think that's just obvious. Why? Because it's apparent to us that it's greater to be good than evil. Therefore if God is good, then he is maximally good.

That's a fairly...arbitrary decision. Upon what do you base that it is greater to be good than evil?

Not really, I think any sincere inquirer of truth will admit that they typically seek to avoid evil agents and gravitate towards good ones. Why? because evil has no such meaning as a great making property. Good has that meaning. Clearly.
bladerunner060
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1/14/2013 8:24:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
God wouldn't just be an axiom if he existed, rather if he existed, he would be the standard of morals since it's greater to be the standard of morals than not.
I still maintain that that is empty rhetoric. God, for example, does not define and is not the standard of power. In your view, he is the MAXIMAL of power. He defines the upper limit of what power can rationally be, but power is not meaningless without god, and I would argue neither are morals.
And how is God as the sufficient cause of the universe, if true, not solving the supposed problem of a first cause?
Because the "first cause problem" tries to claim the universe NEEDS a creator, but that god doesn't. Why can't the universe be its own sufficient cause? And if it cannot, why can't the same logic for why it cannot be applied to god?
It seems as if you're expecting more as a proof, but there's many things in life we don't know with 100% certainty, like the external world for example.
Yet you seem to be 100% certain that god exists, and that he, rather than the universe itself, required no cause.
So you think morals are subjective?
I think morals rely on the interplay of two moral actors, and as such, may depend on how those moral actors understand their rights and obligations towards each other. Do you have an obligation to respect the right to life of another being if they do not respect your own right to life, and you know they do not?
Haha denying that God can't do what's impossible isn't "cutting maximal greatness down." lol, it's not like the laws of logic are the same as the laws of physics, wherein God is somehow constrained by some force or whatever. No, it just means that to ask God to do the impossible is equivalent to asking a meaningless question. It's like telling God to make a harp-sharden round go 4.. oh, you can't do it God? .. mustn't be that great now are you? ... see how retarded that sounds blade? c'mon philosorapter, you're killing me here.
And I would argue that saying that god DEFINES the morality that he is the maximal of to be just as logically incoherent; it's just as "retarded" to say god is good, if there is no standard to define good that isn't god, as it is to ask god to make a harp-sharden round go 4.
Not really, I think any sincere inquirer of truth will admit that they typically seek to avoid evil agents and gravitate towards good ones. Why? because evil has no such meaning as a great making property. Good has that meaning. Clearly.

What is a "great making property", and can you prove that it necessarily applies to god, who, as you've posited defines what the good is? Is it not subjective to "seek to avoid evil agents and gravitate towards good ones", and if it isn't can you provide the objective rationale?

In the end, your argument seems to fail to address the idea that: If god defines morality, then he could tomorrow say that raping and torturing babies to death is good. You've said before elsewhere that he CAN'T say that, because he's maximally good, but if good is only what he defines it to be, then it is trivially true that he could say that, and that to you his saying it would MAKE THAT good. Now, if he is rather the perfect example of the concept, then the concept is external to him, and he cannot but stay true to the concept of good...but the concept could be externalized from him.
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Apeiron
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1/14/2013 10:01:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/14/2013 8:24:57 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
God wouldn't just be an axiom if he existed, rather if he existed, he would be the standard of morals since it's greater to be the standard of morals than not.

I still maintain that that is empty rhetoric. God, for example, does not define and is not the standard of power. In your view, he is the MAXIMAL of power. He defines the upper limit of what power can rationally be, but power is not meaningless without god, and I would argue neither are morals.

If you think metaphysics is meaningless then we're discussing step 27 when we should be discussing step five then lol. But, metaphysically, this argument holds. Now what do you mean by power? ... it seems like you're using it as a catch all, and besides, I even said I don't consider power itself as a great making property. So this is a straw-man anyhow.

I don't argue that morals are meaningless without belief in God, rather morals are grounded in God by virtue of his maximal goodness, a standard in himself subsisting.

And how is God as the sufficient cause of the universe, if true, not solving the supposed problem of a first cause?

Because the "first cause problem" tries to claim the universe NEEDS a creator, but that god doesn't. Why can't the universe be its own sufficient cause? And if it cannot, why can't the same logic for why it cannot be applied to god?

No no, the Kalam clearly states that whatever BEGINS to exist has a cause of its existence. And surely that's not only metaphysically true, but constantly verified and never falsified in experience, we don't observe things just popping into being out of nothing.

But then what about God? Does he require a cause... no- why? Because God was timeless prior to creation and in time subsequent to it, he never began to exist- rather he existed in a timeless state.

To think the universe is self caused, is literally worse than magic man. We have strong evidence and philosophical arguments that the universe isn't past eternal. If you doubt this, then I simply don't think this is a sincere conversation anymore.

It seems as if you're expecting more as a proof, but there's many things in life we don't know with 100% certainty, like the external world for example.

Yet you seem to be 100% certain that god exists, and that he, rather than the universe itself, required no cause.

Not true actually. I just think it's more plausible than not that God exists given my background knowledge of the world and my inner relationship with him within the absence of a defeater for those inner experiences and external evidence. God then is an immediate experience rooted as a properly basic belief for me, of which I have no reasonable defeater against. Hence I think I'm rational to accept what's self-evident to me. But that doesn't make me certain, of course I have times of doubts. But I also have good arguments :-)

And of course God requires no cause if he never began to exist. lol

So you think morals are subjective?

I think morals rely on the interplay of two moral actors, and as such, may depend on how those moral actors understand their rights and obligations towards each other. Do you have an obligation to respect the right to life of another being if they do not respect your own right to life, and you know they do not?

So then they are subjective in your view then. And again we're not discussing how we know moral truths, we're discussing what their foundation is.

Haha denying that God can't do what's impossible isn't "cutting maximal greatness down." lol, it's not like the laws of logic are the same as the laws of physics, wherein God is somehow constrained by some force or whatever. No, it just means that to ask God to do the impossible is equivalent to asking a meaningless question. It's like telling God to make a harp-sharden round go 4.. oh, you can't do it God? .. mustn't be that great now are you? ... see how retarded that sounds blade? c'mon philosorapter, you're killing me here.

And I would argue that saying that god DEFINES the morality that he is the maximal of to be just as logically incoherent; it's just as "retarded" to say god is good, if there is no standard to define good that isn't god, as it is to ask god to make a harp-sharden round go 4.

I see no argument in there, you'll have to clarify please.

Not really, I think any sincere inquirer of truth will admit that they typically seek to avoid evil agents and gravitate towards good ones. Why? because evil has no such meaning as a great making property. Good has that meaning. Clearly.

What is a "great making property", and can you prove that it necessarily applies to god, who, as you've posited defines what the good is? Is it not subjective to "seek to avoid evil agents and gravitate towards good ones", and if it isn't can you provide the objective rationale?

Goodness is a great making property, we would regard someone as good if that was essential to their character, obviously. But if God is good, then he is maximally good. Maximal goodness is a great making property. I've spoken of others as well but like I said we can gradually discover what goes to make up great making properties. It's a bit less than rocket science, it's only metaphysics.

Also, to answer your question, I think evil is objectively and intrinsically bad, whereas benevolence is objectively and intrinsically good.


In the end, your argument seems to fail to address the idea that: If god defines morality, then he could tomorrow say that raping and torturing babies to death is good. You've said before elsewhere that he CAN'T say that, because he's maximally good, but if good is only what he defines it to be, then it is trivially true that he could say that, and that to you his saying it would MAKE THAT good. Now, if he is rather the perfect example of the concept, then the concept is external to him, and he cannot but stay true to the concept of good...but the concept could be externalized from him.

See you're mischaracterizing my argument yet again, God wouldn't say that raping and torturing babies to death is good, why? ... Because it's simply not within his all good nature.

And God isn't defining what's good, he issues commands which are in accord with his nature, which is itself good... why? .. because it's greater to be all good than not, and God is the greatest being by definition.

Your worry that God 'could be' evil not only arbitrarily redefines God for no reason, but plays in your imagination to what's possible. There are impossible things which we can imagine, but that doesn't mean they're real or possible. Likewise saying God could be evil, sure, if we except the axiom in that fiction that evil is a great making property.

But you've not offered any reason (nor can you) for thinking that we should accept that axiom, that imagination.
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1/15/2013 10:05:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I 100% thought I replied to your last already, but apparently I did not. Which means I have to retype the bloody thing. Sorry!
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bladerunner060
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1/15/2013 10:24:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you think metaphysics is meaningless then we're discussing step 27 when we should be discussing step five then lol. But, metaphysically, this argument holds. Now what do you mean by power? ... it seems like you're using it as a catch all, and besides, I even said I don't consider power itself as a great making property. So this is a straw-man anyhow.
If you think metaphysics requires god, then we are indeed.
You don't consider power a great making property. So god does not have to have maximal power to be god? Power is not what makes god great?

I don't argue that morals are meaningless without belief in God, rather morals are grounded in God by virtue of his maximal goodness, a standard in himself subsisting.
Which means that, outside of using god as the standard, morals have no meaning. Which means anyone who rejects god, to you, has no moral grounding, and god, himself has no moral grounding, because you can't measure god against himself any more than you can measure a yardstick against itself.

No no, the Kalam clearly states that whatever BEGINS to exist has a cause of its existence. And surely that's not only metaphysically true, but constantly verified and never falsified in experience, we don't observe things just popping into being out of nothing.

Kalam relies on induction WITHIN a system to try to make determinations OUTSIDE the system. It's a ridiculous argument. We know nothing about anything outside the universe. It's like sitting in my car, and knowing everything in my car runs off an engine, and assuming that therefore my car was made by an engine.

By the same argument of the KCA, I could argue that god CANNOT have created the universe ex nihilo because energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

But then what about God? Does he require a cause... no- why? Because God was timeless prior to creation and in time subsequent to it, he never began to exist- rather he existed in a timeless state.
And that's special pleading. Why can't the universe have been "timeless" before the big bang?

To think the universe is self caused, is literally worse than magic man. We have strong evidence and philosophical arguments that the universe isn't past eternal. If you doubt this, then I simply don't think this is a sincere conversation anymore.

We know the universe isn't past eternal in this form. That doesn't mean it wasn't self caused, or some kind of eternal cycle. Further, we have literally no experience of how anything ex nihilo works. Now, I could question your sincerity, but I guess I won't. We have no evidence of anything from before the universe. We have some evidence that the universe didn't exist in its current form, but trying to go before that is impossible with our current level of knowledge.

And of course God requires no cause if he never began to exist. lol

Nor does the universe if it existed as some other universe prior to this one.

So then they are subjective in your view then. And again we're not discussing how we know moral truths, we're discussing what their foundation is.

They're just as subjective to you, except they're grounded in God, who is "maximal" of something you can't define except by using him.

I see no argument in there, you'll have to clarify please.

You can't say god is the maximal of anything that is undefined without him. It's like trying to define an inch solely as "the length of this rock". How do we know the length of the rock hasn't changed, or isn't what we thought it was in the first place, unless we have some other measure to go against and verify?

Goodness is a great making property, we would regard someone as good if that was essential to their character, obviously. But if God is good, then he is maximally good. Maximal goodness is a great making property. I've spoken of others as well but like I said we can gradually discover what goes to make up great making properties. It's a bit less than rocket science, it's only metaphysics.
Why is it a great making property? And why is it that, if power isn't?

Also, to answer your question, I think evil is objectively and intrinsically bad, whereas benevolence is objectively and intrinsically good.
Upon what non-subjective basis do you make that claim?
See you're mischaracterizing my argument yet again, God wouldn't say that raping and torturing babies to death is good, why? ... Because it's simply not within his all good nature.
How do you know? If he said it was good, by your lights, it would BE good, because he is the standard against which any other good is judged, and it has no meaning apart from him. So what would stop him?
And God isn't defining what's good, he issues commands which are in accord with his nature, which is itself good... why? .. because it's greater to be all good than not, and God is the greatest being by definition.
Again, I'd say that while god's nature may line up perfectlyw ith the definition of good it is not, in itself, the definition of good.

Your worry that God 'could be' evil not only arbitrarily redefines God for no reason, but plays in your imagination to what's possible. There are impossible things which we can imagine, but that doesn't mean they're real or possible. Likewise saying God could be evil, sure, if we except the axiom in that fiction that evil is a great making property. But you've not offered any reason (nor can you) for thinking that we should accept that axiom, that imagination.
Why would god have to be good? Why not morally neutral? After all, for god "evil" would have no consequences, and "good" would have no benefit, thanks to maximal power. You've posited that god MUST be good or he wouldn't be god, but I've asked you to establish that. You've tried to say that god's nature defines good, yet haven't given us a way to determine that.
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Apeiron
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1/15/2013 11:41:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/15/2013 10:24:49 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

If you think metaphysics is meaningless then we're discussing step 27 when we should be discussing step five then lol. But, metaphysically, this argument holds. Now what do you mean by power? ... it seems like you're using it as a catch all, and besides, I even said I don't consider power itself as a great making property. So this is a straw-man anyhow.

If you think metaphysics requires god, then we are indeed.

You don't consider power a great making property. So god does not have to have maximal power to be god? Power is not what makes god great?

I don't know? ... do you? - I claim ignorance on that since I still don't know if we have more than a less-then-sufficient definition for just what power is! ... What is it?

We know what morality is, we know what knowledge is, but are we as acquainted with 'power' let alone ALL of it? ... It doesn't seem so. That's why I leave it as an open question; simply because I don't think we can conceive what all power is unless we arbitrarily (qua contrast) define it as the "creative ability to cause the universe..." In which case, sure, God has all power. But I'm intellectually uncomfortable with that arbitrary axiom put forth, and so withhold judgement notwithstanding.



No no, the Kalam clearly states that whatever BEGINS to exist has a cause of its existence. And surely that's not only metaphysically true, but constantly verified and never falsified in experience, we don't observe things just popping into being out of nothing.

Kalam relies on induction WITHIN a system to try to make determinations OUTSIDE the system. It's a ridiculous argument. We know nothing about anything outside the universe. It's like sitting in my car, and knowing everything in my car runs off an engine, and assuming that therefore my car was made by an engine.


By the same argument of the KCA, I could argue that god CANNOT have created the universe ex nihilo because energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

No, the principle that "nothing comes from nothing" holds as a metaphysical principle of logic, underpins science and philosophy, and is the common sense view of everybody since ever lol.

now it's funny you mention entropy, since the first thermodynamical laws states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant over time. Now doubt that's true.

But the principle that from nothing, nothing comes is true of ALL of EVERYTHING that begins or becomes. Nevertheless, if you want to back into that ridiculous corner and say this is true in the universe but not OF the universe, well then not only is that the taxi cab fallacy, but it also begs the question of why it's just universes that can pop into being from nothing... what's so special about universes? Why not numbers or postal stamps whenever I need to mail something physically? That would no doubt be more convenient ;-)

But then what about God? Does he require a cause... no- why? Because God was timeless prior to creation and in time subsequent to it, he never began to exist- rather he existed in a timeless state.

And that's special pleading. Why can't the universe have been "timeless" before the big bang?

Now this produced an authentic lol. It's most certainly not special pleading, that's weak sauce- theologians have always held that God is timeless sans creation. But secondly in order to go from a changeless timeless state, there need to be something that "moves" from timeless to in time... but what does that? Only thing we know of is a will. Secondly, the universe is all of space-time, Minkowskian space is unified with time, hence the modern 4D "space-time." And so if time had a beginning, then so to space. Your argument here goes against the well established science, and the horde-guthe-vilanken theorem holds for any space-time reality,

http://arxiv.org...

So this is just dead wrong.

To think the universe is self caused, is literally worse than magic man. We have strong evidence and philosophical arguments that the universe isn't past eternal. If you doubt this, then I simply don't think this is a sincere conversation anymore.

We know the universe isn't past eternal in this form. That doesn't mean it wasn't self caused, or some kind of eternal cycle. Further, we have literally no experience of how anything ex nihilo works. Now, I could question your sincerity, but I guess I won't. We have no evidence of anything from before the universe. We have some evidence that the universe didn't exist in its current form, but trying to go before that is impossible with our current level of knowledge.

Self-caused implicates a 'self' to begin with. We're moving so far off Morality it's weird though how it's going back to the self though lol

And we have a pretty good idea of how something coming from nothing works, we know it's impossible. Why? because nothing is just that, it has no potentialities, why? ... because it's NOTHING! ... I just can't take this convo serious anymore- Do you actually believe that it's possible for something to come from "not anything whatever?"

If you do, I guess I just can't prove ANYTHING to you.

IN fact it's somewhat of a proof of when theists say that atheists will doubt anything just to deny God. I never believed that until I started hearing atheists actually deny that from nothing, nothing comes, just to avoid where they saw the conclusion heading!

But in this respect you can NEVER accused the theist of ever being irrational friend, admit it, if what it takes to remain a rational atheist, is to believe that something can come from nothing, then I don't think you can ever call a theist irrational. For it's literally worse than magic, the corner you're backed into.
Apeiron
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1/16/2013 12:12:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/15/2013 10:24:49 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:

To think the universe is self caused, is literally worse than magic man. We have strong evidence and philosophical arguments that the universe isn't past eternal. If you doubt this, then I simply don't think this is a sincere conversation anymore.

We know the universe isn't past eternal in this form. That doesn't mean it wasn't self caused, or some kind of eternal cycle. Further, we have literally no experience of how anything ex nihilo works. Now, I could question your sincerity, but I guess I won't. We have no evidence of anything from before the universe. We have some evidence that the universe didn't exist in its current form, but trying to go before that is impossible with our current level of knowledge.

Cyclical models have all been done away with, but even THOSE require a beginning because they all must be inflationary,

http://arxiv.org...

And also, the impossibility of a infinite series of regresses is firmly rooted in philosophy, so even if the multi-verse is true (which I like the idea very much), IT would require a cause as well.

We know actually a lot more than you think we do scientifically, and we know even MORE philosophically about the impossibility of an actual infinity. Cantor's set theory has been adequately dealt with. Hilbert's hotel also offers still another illustration of the impossibility of an actual infinity, namely BECAUSE Hilbert was a smart guy and KNEW about an actual infinity, and the impossible absurdities therein when we apply it to physical (and even non-physical) happenings.

And of course God requires no cause if he never began to exist. lol

Nor does the universe if it existed as some other universe prior to this one.

There IS no "prior" since time began. Only a thing with volition can will from a timeless state. Nothing else.

So then they are subjective in your view then. And again we're not discussing how we know moral truths, we're discussing what their foundation is.

They're just as subjective to you, except they're grounded in God, who is "maximal" of something you can't define except by using him.

Great back to morals lol. (Dare I mention fine-tuning?)

Now define time without using temporal statements?

I see no argument in there, you'll have to clarify please.

You can't say god is the maximal of anything that is undefined without him. It's like trying to define an inch solely as "the length of this rock". How do we know the length of the rock hasn't changed, or isn't what we thought it was in the first place, unless we have some other measure to go against and verify?

Platninga's version of the OA isn't q-begging since he starts is by saying it's possible a MGB exists. But OK, so God is undefinable... how does that work? lol, isn't "God is undefinable" itself a definition of God? This project is mad.. I think it makes sense to say God, by definition, is maximally great, that's our starting point, and it's the God I believe in take it or leave it. Also, name something else that is maximally great. You can't, because THAT would be God,

Goodness is a great making property, we would regard someone as good if that was essential to their character, obviously. But if God is good, then he is maximally good. Maximal goodness is a great making property. I've spoken of others as well but like I said we can gradually discover what goes to make up great making properties. It's a bit less than rocket science, it's only metaphysics.

Why is it a great making property? And why is it that, if power isn't?

RE-read what I wrote I guess, I gave reasons intra-paragraphica.

Also, to answer your question, I think evil is objectively and intrinsically bad, whereas benevolence is objectively and intrinsically good.

Upon what non-subjective basis do you make that claim?

My dear sir, every claim is subjective, but if we judge each proposition according to it's content, and according to the cannons of logic, then I think we're rational in accepting the fact that knowledge is possible. By the very fact that we're debating we're presupposing that truth isn't invented but discovered, and that post-modernism is BS, and that the correspondence theory of truth holds today as it always has down through history.

That said, isn't it necessarily true that it's just as wrong to murder a child for fun, just like it's necessarily true that 2+2=4? ... In our moral perception we apprehend a realm of objective moral values such that they're on a par with our sensory perception of the external world. So literally if you doubt that morals are real, then you ought to doubt the fact that you have a head, and so you're not really having this conversation are you?

Again, if this is what it takes to be an atheist, then you can never call theists irrational. Seriously, this is pretty bad man.

So far we're told that something can come from nothing, that it's possible that raping a child for fun is an obligation, that the external world isn't real, and that we can divide by infinity and it's cool.

To say that this is just an exercise in BS is an understatement right now, wouldn't you agree? I mean would you present these doubts as rational to an audience and expect an applause? ...

See you're mischaracterizing my argument yet again, God wouldn't say that raping and torturing babies to death is good, why? ... Because it's simply not within his all good nature.

How do you know? If he said it was good, by your lights, it would BE good, because he is the standard against which any other good is judged, and it has no meaning apart from him. So what would stop him?

Refer back to the argument I already made, you're re-mis-characterizing it. Which by now isn't surprising anymore.

And God isn't defining what's good, he issues commands which are in accord with his nature, which is itself good... why? .. because it's greater to be all good than not, and God is the greatest being by definition.

Again, I'd say that while god's nature may line up perfectly with the definition of good it is not, in itself, the definition of good.

What then is the sufficient definition of good that isn't a tautology?

Your worry that God 'could be' evil not only arbitrarily redefines God for no reason, but plays in your imagination to what's possible. There are impossible things which we can imagine, but that doesn't mean they're real or possible. Likewise saying God could be evil, sure, if we except the axiom in that fiction that evil is a great making property. But you've not offered any reason (nor can you) for thinking that we should accept that axiom, that imagination.

Why would god have to be good? Why not morally neutral? After all, for god "evil" would have no consequences, and "good" would have no benefit, thanks to maximal power. You've posited that god MUST be good or he wouldn't be god, but I've asked you to establish that. You've tried to say that god's nature defines good, yet haven't given us a way to determine that.

Refer again to the argument I gave already, you're merely repeating your case and we're not getting anywhere.
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1/16/2013 12:31:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't know? ... do you? - I claim ignorance on that since I still don't know if we have more than a less-then-sufficient definition for just what power is! ... What is it?
We know what morality is, we know what knowledge is, but are we as acquainted with 'power' let alone ALL of it? ... It doesn't seem so. That's why I leave it as an open question; simply because I don't think we can conceive what all power is unless we arbitrarily (qua contrast) define it as the "creative ability to cause the universe..." In which case, sure, God has all power. But I'm intellectually uncomfortable with that arbitrary axiom put forth, and so withhold judgement notwithstanding.

Well, in that then I think you'd likely stand nearly alone among theologians; maximal power has been something I've generally heard as on par with maximal goodness.
But it raises some interesting questions.
How do we know what morality is, if morality only IS what is defined by god?
How do you know morality is a great making property?
If we know what morality is, apart from god, why do we need god to define it?

No, the principle that "nothing comes from nothing" holds as a metaphysical principle of logic, underpins science and philosophy, and is the common sense view of everybody since ever lol.
No, it doesn't. Again, science tells us nothing of the "before" of the big bang, or "before" the universe. Science can only tell us what is in THIS universe.
now it's funny you mention entropy,

I didn't actually, I mentioned the law of conservation of energy, but go on

since the first thermodynamical laws states that the total amount of energy in an"isolated"system remains constant over time. Now doubt that's true.
The universe as a whole is an isolated system. I'm unclear if there was a point here?

But the principle that from nothing, nothing comes is true of ALL of EVERYTHING that begins or becomes.
As far as we've determined. And not really, considering we have literally no experience of true nothingness. We cannot create it and have never seen it.

Nevertheless, if you want to back into that ridiculous corner and say this is true in the universe but not OF the universe, well then not only is that the taxi cab fallacy,
You mean this:
http://wiki.ironchariots.org...
?
Considering it's not a true fallacy, and doesn't apply in this case, and can be used against you, as noted in the article?

but it also begs the question of why it's just universes that can pop into being from nothing... what's so special about universes? Why not numbers or postal stamps whenever I need to mail something physically? That would no doubt be more convenient ;-)
That's not begging the question. Begging the question is assuming the premise without actually establishing it. But assuming you mean the more common "Makes me ask the question", I would say YOU'RE RIGHT, although your examples are poor, since they are within the universe and not external to it. I don't assert that god isn't a POSSIBLE answer, only that you haven't established god as the ONLY answer.

Now this produced an authentic lol. It's most certainly not special pleading, that's weak sauce- theologians have always held that God is timeless sans creation.
I'm not sure you know what special pleading is; the fact that theologians have said god is timeless sans creation is meaningless to the charge of special pleading, which is to say attempting to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exemption.

But secondly in order to go from a changeless timeless state, there need to be something that "moves" from timeless to in time... but what does that? Only thing we know of is a will.
Since we have NO EXPERIENCE of anything that "moves" from timeless to time, and since we have never seen a will do so, how can you possibly say that the "only thing we know of is a will"?

Secondly, the universe is all of space-time, Minkowskian space is unified with time, hence the modern 4D "space-time." And so if time had a beginning, then so to space. Your argument here goes against the well established science, and the horde-guthe-vilanken theorem holds for any space-time reality,
You're right, it is. And we have no ability at present to make any actual scientific claims of anything outside of space-time, nor do we have any grounds to assume anything philosophically.

Remember, I'm not saying god CANNOT exist, but rather that if you assert he DOES, and you assert he has CERTAIN ATTRIBUTES, then the burden is on you to establish those things. I do not even have to come up with an alternative, I can simply rebut your establishment and point out that ignorance of something establishes nothing.

So this is just dead wrong.
No. You keep trying to make assertions past the point at which such assertions have any valid grounding.

And we have a pretty good idea of how something coming from nothing works, we know it's impossible. Why? because nothing is just that, it has no potentialities, why? ... because it's NOTHING! ... I just can't take this convo serious anymore- Do you actually believe that it's possible for something to come from "not anything whatever?"
I believe that that's what you posit when you say the universe did not exist, and then god created it. You have the exact same problem as the atheist, of explaining the mechanism of creation. Goddidit does not solve the problem.
IN fact it's somewhat of a proof of when theists say that atheists will doubt anything just to deny God. I never believed that until I started hearing atheists actually deny that from nothing, nothing comes, just to avoid where they saw the conclusion heading!
Actually, I didn't deny it, per se, so much as establish that we have no actual experience upon which to base that claim. There is no "nothing" we've ever experienced. You, on the other hand, have explicitly denied it, since you posit that god created the universe out of nothing.

But in this respect you can NEVER accused the theist of ever being irrational friend, admit it, if what it takes to remain a rational atheist, is to believe that something can come from nothing, then I don't think you can ever call a theist irrational. For it's literally worse than magic, the corner you're backed into.
I am in no corner. I have simply pointed out that you can't measure something by itself, that's a logical contradiction, and you can't posit that everything had a cause except your god, that's special pleading.
In the end, it is up to theists to establsih their claims, otherwise the null hypothesis is assumed. I do not have to establish any alternative, only that your alternative is not established well enough.
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Apeiron
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1/16/2013 12:37:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Blade, you know this is BS, we DO have experience of "true nothing" ... when you walk down the hallway and some coworker greets you and asks you what you had for lunch, and you say "nothing" ... they don't immediately ask you how it tasted!

You're treating "nothing" as some mysterious upside-down world of mystery here. But that's BS. Your redefinition of nothing here is just so strange I don't know what to make of it, it seems that popularizers of physics have really messed with your head here.

Nothing is just that, it's NOT anything, a universal negation. It's not even empty space or a void, it's nothing, the lack of all anything whatever.